California is the first state to require all colleges & universities that receive state aid to define sexual assault as any sexual act committed without affirmative permission. Some colleges have adopted that definition, but no other state has made it a requirement.
The Christian Science Monitor report is here.
The next step for California should be to amend it’s rape statutes to reflect the same requirement: that is, to eliminate the force and non-consent elements, as New Jersey has done.
The New Jersey Supreme Court, way back in 1992, provided the most simple & sensible argument for eliminating force and consent requirements found in most sexual assault statutes :
“The role of the factfinder is not to decide whether reasonable people may engage in acts of penetration without the permission of others. The Legislature answered that question when it enacted the reformed sexual assault statute: reasonable people do not engage in acts of penetration without permission, and it is unlawful to do so. In Re MTS, 609 A.2d 1266, 1279 (1992).
How can one disagree with the bold statement? (bold added).
THE VICTIMS’ RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY COMMISSION has created a SURVEY for VICTIMS to describe how government services have or have not helped them.
FILL IT OUT IF YOU ARE ABLE
THE VICTIMS’ RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY COMMISSION (VREAC) TO HOLD A SERIES OF PUBLIC HEARINGS ACROSS THE STATE TO SOLICIT DIRECT INPUT FROM CRIME VICTIMS:
10/20/14, 6:00-8:00PM, Albertus Magnus College, New Haven
10/27/14, 5:30-7:30PM, Hartford Public Library, Hartford
11/5/14, 6:00-8:00PM, Three Rivers Community College, Norwich
This info does not seem to be on their website, but a SURVEY for VICTIMS is there: http://www.ct.gov/ova/cwp/view.asp?a=4640&q=545358&ovaNav=%7C
Sentenced to an illegally short 31 day sentence by a judge who said the teen victim “didn’t look like a child,” a Montana high school teacher was resentenced to 15 years, 5 of which were suspended.
The first judge has announced he will retire at the end of the year.
Is there any politician who does not claim to be deeply concerned about women, children and the elderly? Yet, in a capitalist society where worth is supposedly indicated by salary levels, we grossly underfund sexual assault and child crisis services, and grossly underpay child advocates, teachers, and, as shown in the linked story in the New York Times, home health aides. http://tinyurl.com/lzxwk9m
In Victim Rights Center’s practice, we find too often that the criminal justice system is ill-prepared to recognize or to remedy our sexual assault and child abuse crises. Some police agencies are victim-centered, trained in victimology, and aggressively investigate reports of sexual assault or child abuse. Two in CT that quickly come to mind are Watertown and Yale University. Others endorse rape myths, presuming that victims of these crimes are lying, while looking for reason NOT to pursue those investigations, because they are time intensive and difficult. This is not necessarily because the individual officers don’t care — mostly it is because they are not trained properly. Yet who has a training budget anymore?
The article from the New York Times shows starkly how we have created a system of elderly care that routinely mistreats the patient and optimizes the profits of the corporate health care juggernaut. http://tinyurl.com/lzxwk9m
When will we get our priorities straight?
The woman featured in the article below did a wonderful job, that led to a broadly publicized sexual abuse case. She did it modestly, treating it like every other case she has done over the years. In Connecticut, and in every other state there are similar women & men working every day to help victims. They do a stressful and often frustrating service for sadly low pay, and without adequate financial resources.
Jessica Dershem is a symbol for them all. We should thank them everyday.
The latest from Attorney James Marsh & Title IX on Campus contains some advice on keeping safe aimed at college freshmen. Some argue that advicates should only focus on the offender and not put the burden on potential victims to avoid predators. We agree that the primarily focus should always be on the offender and his/her actions, VRCCT believes this post provides helpful information on how to avoid the offender that many college freshmen may not know. It accurately points out that predators are on the prowl especially at the beginning of the semester. So, we approve of the public safety aspects of the post, and also it’s advice for those who become victims.
From the always informative Womens Justice Center :
“After Backpage.com published their pictures and sales pitches about them, the girls, ages 13 and 15, were repeatedly raped by customers.” Now they have sued the website. Briefs are available here:
Huff Post interviewed six Domestic Violence victims who explain why it is so hard to leave an abusive relationship.
Victim Rights Center will have an informational table at the East Rock Festival in New Haven this Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 11am to 6pm. Come on out for a great time, and to say “hello!” Or stop by and help us spread the word. We’ll teach you how.